October 19, 2021 4.14 pm

Ex-Marine from Lincolnshire village smashes hattrick of half marathon world records

He broke three world records in just two weeks

A 47-year-old ex-Royal Marine from Lincolnshire has broken three world records for running half marathons with heavy loads on his back in just two weeks, raising over £4,000 for charity in the process.

Collin Harrison, 47, from Dunston, is the new world record holder for half marathon times with 60lb, 80lb and 100lb load carries on his back, after he completed two mammoth races in the space of 14 days in September 2021.

Collin is a former Royal Marine who has been out of the corps for almost ten years, and he told The Lincolnite that his feat of endurance came about from a knock back when he tried to rejoin the Marines.

“I tried to reapply for the Marines about three years ago, and was told that I couldn’t join because of my age, and if there’s one thing you never do, it’s telling a Marine they can’t do something.

“That became my main motivation, so I picked up a Guinness World Records book and decided to see what the records were for half marathons while carrying weight on your back.

“I’d done challenges for Children with Cancer UK before, and decided to try and break the world record for a half marathon with a 100lb load on my back to raise money for charity again.”

Collin trained for 21 months for the event, and wasn’t going to let anything get in his way. | Photo: Scottish Half Marathon

Collin took on the challenge to raise money for Royal Marines Charity as well as Children With Cancer UK, and his efforts have raised an incredible £4,352 at the time of reporting. You can donate to Collin’s cause here.

Collin started training in November 2019, but after the outbreak of coronavirus and subsequent lockdowns, his plans were disrupted and there were even times where he feared his efforts might be for nothing.

He said: “It felt after six months of lockdowns and event cancellations like it would never happen, I worried that I was going to physically break before I got the chance to complete the races.”

Eventually, lockdowns were lifted and races were back on, so Collin entered both the Southampton and Scotland half marathons to try and take on an unprecedented feat.

It was physically and mentally gruelling, but Collin proved that age is just a number. | Photo: Scottish Half Marathon

On September 5, 2021, Collin ran the Southampton half marathon with 60lbs on his back in a world record time of 1:54:34, some 15 minutes quicker than the previous record.

Amazingly, just 14 days after that, Collin topped his own achievements at the Scottish half marathon. He ran with a 100lb weight on his back and broke the 100lb world record time of 3:16:36 by running a monstrous time of 2:11:38. That’s over an HOUR quicker than the last record.

As if that wasn’t enough, he also broke the 80lb record of 2:30:00 with 20lb extra on his back. And he did all this after one of the straps on his bag snapped during the race, meaning he did the last three miles with most of the weight on one shoulder.

Collin is adamant he would have broken his own 60lb record at the Scottish half had it not been for the strap snapping, which gives you an indication as to just how remarkable his fitness levels are.

Discussing the importance of raising money as well as breaking the world records, Collin added: “As soon as that first pound was donated, I knew I was doing it regardless.

“If I’d only raised £10, it was more than they would have without my fundraiser, so to raise as much as I have is obviously fantastic.

“Records are immaterial to me, this was about showing the powers that be that you shouldn’t judge people on their age, only on their ability.”

Collin uploaded the footage of his world record run at the Scottish Half Marathon to YouTube, and has sent the footage over to Guinness as proof of his accomplishment.

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